Accelerometry to Assess Preschooler's Free-Play: Issues with Count Thresholds and Epoch Durations

Oliver, Melody, Schofield, Grant M. and Schluter, Philip J. (2009) Accelerometry to Assess Preschooler's Free-Play: Issues with Count Thresholds and Epoch Durations. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 13 4: 181-190.


Author Oliver, Melody
Schofield, Grant M.
Schluter, Philip J.
Title Accelerometry to Assess Preschooler's Free-Play: Issues with Count Thresholds and Epoch Durations
Formatted title Accelerometry to Assess Preschooler's Free-Play: Issues with Count Thresholds and Epoch Durations
Journal name Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1091-367X
Publication date 2009-10
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13614530903260047
Volume 13
Issue 4
Start page 181
End page 190
Total pages 10
Editor Yuanlong Liu
Place of publication United States
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
920401 Behaviour and Health
111704 Community Child Health
Abstract This study examines the utility of current accelerometer threshold definitions and epoch durations for physical activity intensity classification in preschool-aged children. Using video footage of children engaged in active play, directly observed 1-sec epoch physical activity intensity scores were derived from a modified version of the Children's Activity Rating Scale, averaged into 15-sec epochs (corresponding to the accelerometer scale), and compared to accelerometer-measured classifications. Overall, 6,540 individual 1-sec epochs were captured and classified from six children, yielding 429 time-matched 15-sec epoch physical activity intensity classifications from both methods. Children participated in 25 distinct physical activity behaviors and spent 75% of free-play in one intensity level for ≤5 sec. The maximum amount of time spent participating in an activity prior to changing activity intensity was 98 sec. Agreement between methods was generally poor (overall: κ = .22; child range: κ = .00 to .66), and the difference between methods was significantly asymmetrical (McNemar's test overall: p = .01). Accelerometer thresholds and epoch durations used to classify preschoolers' physical activity intensity yielded biased estimates in the current study. Further investigation is necessary to establish optimal physical activity measurement methods with this population.
Formatted abstract This study examines the utility of current accelerometer threshold definitions and epoch durations for physical activity intensity classification in preschool-aged children. Using video footage of children engaged in active play, directly observed 1-sec epoch physical activity intensity scores were derived from a modified version of the Children's Activity Rating Scale, averaged into 15-sec epochs (corresponding to the accelerometer scale), and compared to accelerometer-measured classifications. Overall, 6,540 individual 1-sec epochs were captured and classified from six children, yielding 429 time-matched 15-sec epoch physical activity intensity classifications from both methods. Children participated in 25 distinct physical activity behaviors and spent 75% of free-play in one intensity level for ≤5 sec. The maximum amount of time spent participating in an activity prior to changing activity intensity was 98 sec. Agreement between methods was generally poor (overall: κ = .22; child range: κ = .00 to .66), and the difference between methods was significantly asymmetrical (McNemar's test overall: p = .01). Accelerometer thresholds and epoch durations used to classify preschoolers' physical activity intensity yielded biased estimates in the current study. Further investigation is necessary to establish optimal physical activity measurement methods with this population.
Keyword measure
actical
direct
observation
Intensity
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